If you’re serious about adding new slabs of muscle, getting your diet right is absolutely crucial for your success!
As strange as it may sound, there is a way of mimicking the effects of anabolic steroids by implementing a few nutritional tactics. I call this the ‘MuscleHack Anabolic Nutritional Strategy‘ (MANS).
I’m not saying that you’ll see the same gains as a roidhead – you won’t. No natural diet will replicate the effects of anabolic steroids. However, your results may surpass anything you are currently experiencing.
In the next 15-20 minutes I will introduce you to the nutritional strategy that will revolutionize your bodybuilding life.
And there’s more…
You can make these gains in muscle without the correlating gains in fat! It’s all lean gains. And those with great genetics can actually find the holy-grail of bodybuilding as they build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
NOTE: If you’d like free meal plans for living this new anabolic lifestyle, simply input your emails below and click the button for immediate download. It’s a 50-page booklet packed with high protein daily meal plans from as low as 1600 Calories up to 3600 Calories per day. No more headaches trying to design daily meal plans! Yes it is 100% free, written by MuscleHack owner Mark McManus, and there are no catches. You can get more details on the book here if you wish.
You don’t have to log into your email to confirm anything. Once you click the button, you’ll be taken straight to the download page 😀 I operate a ‘Strictly Zero Spam‘ policy.
A Bodybuilding Diet That Works!
Friends, I have no interest in hyperbole or BS; this nutritional strategy works. It took me years to find it, implement it correctly and reap the rewards. I had to find out for myself how to build lean muscle mass like never before while keeping fat accumulation at bay. But it was well worth the effort.
So if it’s the best anabolic diet in existence, why isn’t it more widely known? The big supplement companies and rag-magazines would go out of business quickly if they couldn’t peddle their snake-oil to you. If the general public were more nutrition-savvy, they’d crap themselves! I doubt very much they’d go out of their way to make the public aware of it.
This article lays these secrets bare for you to learn. Implement this process wisely and I promise you will make muscle gains like never before.
Please note that this method takes planning and commitment but it is well worth it! Also please make sure your workouts are up to par by implementing ‘MuscleHack T.H.T. Training.’
Before I go any further I want to credit a few people as sources of great information and inspiration. They are:
Why The MANS Diet Is The Best
So how can this nutritional strategy produce bigger an better muscle gains? There is a way to increase anabolic (muscle building) hormones in the body in the same way that steroids do. The only difference is, it’s safe and natural.
This diet will naturally maximize your body’s production of the following anabolic hormones:
Sounds good doesn’t it? You will also have controlled and timed insulin spikes which allows the body to have high levels of growth hormone and insulin at the same time! This does not usually happen and you’ll see extremely impressive muscle gains as a result.
What Actually Causes Muscle Growth?
Ok, apart from the actual exercise itself, what is the driver of muscle hypertrophy? We’ve been told over and over again that it’s excess calories; you must eat more calories than you expend to encourage muscle growth. I’m going to put forward something a little controversial.
Calories are also an effect, not just a cause.
Think of a growing child. Are we to assume that vertical growth is caused by excess calories? I think the release of Growth Hormone is what makes a child grow. Then this increased growth hormone causes the child to want to eat more. I think we have causality round the wrong way here.
The traditional advice from bodybuilding gurus is to eat everything in sight to increase muscle size. And they usually recommend high carb, low-fat diets.
But what we want to devise is a nutritional strategy that ignites the release of anabolic hormones (and this means you need to eat fat). In turn then, these hormones will let us know when and how much to eat. The hormones will drive our appetite.
Simply by making us hungry – just like a growing child. See how causality has been reversed? It’s no longer…
Excess Calories = Muscle Growth
Anabolic Hormones = Muscle Growth (which will drive your appetite to provide sufficient calories and protein)
Don’t get me wrong, sufficient calories are required to build muscle, but it’s important to understand the chain of causality.
Breakdown of MANS Bodybuilding Diet
This plan requires that you eat a high protein, high fat, low carbohydrate diet for 5 and a half days. Then for 36 hours you carb-up. The high protein, high fat part of the diet is what sparks the increase in blood serum levels of:
- Growth Hormone
- IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor production is stimulated by growth hormone).
As you will be keeping your carbohydrate level low for most of the week, your body will become a fat-burning machine. It will undergo a ‘metabolic shift’ and start to burn fat as its primary source of energy. This can take as little as 2 days and up to 10 days for some people. However, the vast majority of you will have become fat-adapted by the end of the first 5 and a half days.
The advantages of this are:
- Increased Lipolysis (breakdown of fat)
- Decreased Lipogenesis (production of fat)
- Decreased catabolism (muscle protein is spared from breakdown)
Insulin Isn’t your Enemy
Regular low-carb dieters want to avoid spikes in insulin levels, but for the bodybuilder a controlled spike will do you a world of good. You’ll use a 32-36 hour window (I use the weekends for this) to deliberately increase insulin levels. Friday 6pm to midnight on Saturday works well for me.
Insulin can make you fat, no doubt about it. Insulin has a dramatic effect on decreasing lipolysis i.e. as insulin regulates fat metabolism, large amounts means that your body will not give up its fat stores for energy; it literally shuts the gates to your stored body fat ensuring that it can’t be released and used for energy. Having said that, insulin is not the enemy of the bodybuilder.
Increasing insulin through a carb-loading period is beneficial because:
- It helps shuttle amino acids into the muscle cells
- Increases Protein Synthesis in skeletal muscle
- Glycogen supercompensation (Replenish Muscle Glycogen To Fuel Workouts).
Growth Hormone & Insulin
As stated previously you will also reap the anabolic effects of increasing insulin, growth hormone and testosterone at the same time. Usually when insulin levels increase, the others decrease and vise versa.
It seems that the body (once fat adapted) sees the intake of high carbs at the weekend as a ‘threatening’ situation and releases growth hormone as a survival mechanism. Increased Growth hormone is your body’s way of mobilizing energy stores to deal with this stressful situation and so at this time you can get elevated insulin and growth hormone levels simultaneously – welcome to muscle building heaven!
Traditional High-Carb Muscle-Building Diets
On a high carb diet, (usually recommended for the bulking phase of a bodybuilding lifestyle) insulin levels are chronically elevated. You therefore don’t get the edge of maximum release of testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1. Also on the high carb approach, you prevent your body from using body fat for fuel and actually encourage the laying down of new body fat. That’s
- Decreased Lipolysis
- Increased Lipogenesis
…not good news, friends . What this anabolic nutritional strategy does is take advantage of the anabolic properties of insulin and, at the same time, restricts the fattening properties of the hormone. This bodybuilding diet will keep insulin levels steady and low most of the time but you will also be creating carefully timed spikes for explosive muscle growth.
Your Unique Carbohydrate Threshold Level
The best thing about this bodybuilding diet is that it’s tailor-fitted to your unique metabolic type; it’s not a one-size-fits-all diet. You will find your unique carb threshold level and this will allow you to:
- Gain muscle without fat
- Lose fat without sacrificing lean mass (when cutting)
Your carb threshold level can be defined as
“The lowest possible daily carbohydrate intake that allows you to function at top level”
Since we’re concerned with building muscle, we need to find the lowest amount of carbs you need in a day to not only feel good but hammer out muscle-building workouts that continually improve, week-on-week.
I recommend you start out at 30 grams per day and adjust from there. Don’t make any changes to this for at least a week because you need to make the metabolic switch to burning fat for fuel first. Once this is completed you will be able to tell from your workout performances whether or not you need some more carbs (if so, increase in 5 gram per day increments).
I personally average at around 27 grams of carbohydrate per day for 5 and a half days. Some days I take in 35 grams but on others just 20 grams. Going higher or lower is fine, just check your weekly averages. This low amount of carbohydrate is enough to power me through some amazing workouts; I’ve got bags of energy and feel great .
How Much Protein, Carbs, Fat, & Calories To Eat
Ok, so this isn’t very complicated:
STEP 1: You already know that you will have around 30g carbs per day. This comes to 120 Calories (30 x 4cals/gram).
STEP 3: Work out how many calories you will get from protein by multiplying the grams by 4. So 200g = 800 Calories.
STEP 4: Subtract the combination of protein and carb calories from the total calories. Example: total cals 2800 – (800 + 120) = 1880 Calories remaining.
STEP 5: 1880 Calories will come from dietary fat. To get this in grams, divide the figure by 9 since there are 9 Calories in a gram of fat. 1880/9 = 208g fat.
STEP 6: On weekdays, MANS is a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF). In this example, this guy will eat 208g fat, 180g protein, and 30g carbohydrate.
Some of you may be wondering about post-workout carbs. With this dietary approach, they are not needed and may actually be counter-productive. For a full break down of why this is the case, please read my article ‘Post-Workout Carbs – Crucial or Counter-Productive?‘
I remember being advised years ago that I needed around 60 – 100 grams of post-workout carbs to encourage muscle hypertrophy. It’s no surprise now, with a little education, that I got fat. Also, remember creating daily insulin spikes will have an adverse effect on growth hormone levels so follow this to the letter.
Your Carb-Up Period
This is perfect as you can enjoy your life after being so strict during the week. Have some pizza, Chinese food, whatever you feel like. Take your woman out for a meal, have some beers with the guys and rest assured that you’re actually benefiting from this. I limit the junk meals to 2 and the rest of the time I eat a mostly high-carb, moderate fat, moderate protein diet.
It isn’t an excuse to go completely nuts, but do let your hair down a little. Again, there’s no reason to eat passed satiation, let your gut decide how much to eat.
There is no real limit on the amount of carbs you can have. The key is just to watch the time it takes for you to begin to smooth-out (lose definition); it may take a little bit of experimentation at first and it will be different for everyone; 32 hours works great for me. So you are not counting calories or carbs at the weekend – just relax and enjoy.
You’ll notice that every week you go through a mini-cycle of being bigger and smaller; this is just due to fluctuating water levels. When you begin to low-carb you’ll flush out some water, it’s perfectly normal and natural.
Continually monitor your weight in conjunction with your body fat levels. If you notice that by Saturday afternoon, you’re smoothing out a little bit too much, you know that you’ll have to limit your carb-up period to 24 hrs; keep monitoring and adjusting as necessary.
I hope you can now see the huge benefit there is to eating this way. The bodybuilding world is still largely clueless of this. I urge you to take advantage of this knowledge.
What To Eat On Your Low-Carb Days
For menu ideas please see the low carb recipe section. Examples include:
- Taco Salad
- Low Carb Tortillas with meat and any low-carb sauce (mayo, ranch, blue cheese)
- Chicken Goujons / Breaded Chicken
- Chicken Curry
- Beef Kebabs
- Homemade Protein Bar
- Sugar-free Jell-O with Squirty Cream on top
- Hot Cocoa made with cream
And to reiterate, grab my free book of bodybuilding meal plans, as well as my free Targeted Hypertrophy Training program by clicking below. There’s no catch and there’s no spam. Once you click the button, you’ll be taken straight to the download page 😀 I operate a ‘Strictly Zero Spam‘ policy.
That’s the M.A.N.S. diet plan laid bare for you. Question is, what are you going to do with it?
I encourage you to stop the endless bulking/fattening cycle followed by cutting (losing as much muscle as fat) year on year. It DOES NOT need to be this way.
I urge you to join me in this way of eating. Many, many people have seen awesome changes as a result of implementing my dietary guidelines, check out their testimonials.
UPDATE : For newbies to MANS, here’s a list of further reading here at MuscleHack:
- Saturated Fat: Not Guilty As Charged
- How To Build More Muscle On The MANS Diet – Including the Mid-Week Carb-Spike
- The No.1 Mistake People Make On The MANS Diet
- How Many Calories Per Day Do I Need To Build Muscle?
- How To Calculate Net Carbs – Remember, it’s only Net Carbs you need to count; this is important
- What Fruit Can I Eat On A Low Carb Diet?
- What Every Bodybuilder Should Eat For Dinner
- What If You Can’t Get Fat On A High-Fat Diet?
- Want To Build Muscle? Eat Your Beef! – Red Meat is a staple on the MANS diet
- The Saturated Fat & Cholesterol Myth Destroyed! – Don’t believe the hype! This bodybuilding diet is very healthy
Folks, I have spent countless hours laboring over this article for you. This article can really benefit people in the pursuit of their body goals without resorting to anabolic steroids. Can I ask something in return?
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Thank you very much. And as always…
Train With Intensity!